These are some selected poems I wrote in December of 2019, using a shared prompt list that Laurel created and also worked from.
“A beginning, a middle, and an end” (12/18/19)
it started with the leaning,
my head on your thighs, your back on my chest
burrowing deeper into october and each other
trying to warm the frost
and we tried for a while,
to keep the fire burning as we skated on thin ice.
I saw the cracks, heard the creaking,
but who would want to believe, that to survive the winter you must let things freeze?
so when you stopped tending the fire,
I roused the flames higher, higher,
until the icicles were ablaze,
and you could not meet my gaze.
I used to wonder, worry, about love.
If you wanted to feel me next to you,
as much as I found solace in your touch.
If you knew my mind like a coming home,
like I felt seen by you. I wondered if
we could build a fire in the melding place.
We lit a spark, a thought experiment.
And our fire is still burning, two years since.
Today is the last day you will hold me like this.
Don't ask me how I know, I just do.
Bodies pressed together, hip and thigh,
your arms across my back as I sigh, listening.
Ear against your breast as your heart beats, I try to memorize your pulse, your life.
You are soft, quiet, steady.
The room around is silent, but for the clock.
“Balance/off balance” (12/23/19)
Forgive me for my frailty, I’m trying not to fall
as my legs shake and my head aches, leaning against the wall.
It’s not my fault, I know that much. Please don’t walk away.
I’m tired of this, and so are you. Just hold me close, and stay.
One of these days, I’ll stand so tall you’d never see it coming.
Then you won’t have to bear my weight, to keep me off the floor.
And while I’m working to be strong, I’ll try to compensate.
I’ll dry your tears and whisper loving words in your small ears.
And if you find that’s not enough, you need to take a break,
I understand, I’ll wait until we can walk hand in hand.
I almost fell asleep, with my head on your chest
and fought to stay awake, so you could leave.
You'd been running fingers through my hair, so your hand rested there.
Silently sitting on my bed, collapsing into each other.
Our legs were warm, touching.
I listened to your heart, a familiar beat.
And I thought about how, this time, I felt more complete.
“Rivers, roads” (12/30/19)
I've been on many roads in the past few days,
through Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
And sometimes I've passed over rivers,
sometimes I've passed over streams.
I've seen and felt the ways that each road is unique.
Some of them are long, stretching far into the night,
Where nothing ever reaches; not our car, not our headlights.
But some of them are short, with their endings known and clear,
From the little farmstead with three black cows to the hills of Dollywood.
By now, I've driven home, and I'm curled up in my bed.
Thinking about the fallen leaves,
the slow-growing saplings lining the way,
and the mist of the Blue Ridge mountains,
which has left me in a trance.